Love and Marriage in Renaissance Literature

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In medieval Europe, the troubadours (poets of the southern part of France), like Guilhem IX, or Cercamon, first began to write poems about humble men falling in love with women who were admirer and adored by their lovers. Furthermore, intense love between men and women became a central subject in European literature, like between Tristan and Iseult, Lancelot and Guinevere, or Aeneas and Dido. But it was not question of marriage. Actually, marriage and love did not match very well together but then Renaissance literature developed the concepts of love and marriage and recorded the evolution of the relation between them. In the Renaissance poetry, Donne, in The Good Morrow, celebrate love and sexuality in marriage. However, the aspects of love and marriage were not always linked in life but they became to unify first in literature. Actually we could notice that there were two sides in marriage and one of these sides was linked with love -- and this part became more and more important. Indeed, we can to distinguish the two different sides of marriage in the Renaissance period. Indeed, it was both secular and sacred -- this could appear paradoxical, because these two words seem to be contradictory. On the first hand: Secular, because it served as a union of two parties which searched for the acquisition of money or properties. Indeed, like in the Middle Ages, property right was very important. Besides, because of this right, the younger of the sons for example had to marry a woman who possessed lands because, land descended to the eldest son, so the younger often received nothing. Furthermore, following this tradition of inheritance, if there was no son in a family, land descended to the daughter and if there were several daughters, the heritage was shared between them. Besides, the widows had a large common law right which became very well protected in the 16th century. So the financial need to marry was present, it meant that the alliance was a possibility to...
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